Concise dictionary of physics (2nd edition)

Concise dictionary of physics (2nd edition)

Book reviews newcomer to the field. Despite this, the author is to be congratulated on producing a valuable source book on heavy-ion reactions. Senio...

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Book reviews newcomer to the field. Despite this, the author is to be congratulated on producing a valuable source book on heavy-ion reactions.

Senior Lecturer in Physics University of Birmingham

T. D. BEYNON

Concise Dictioaary of Physics (2nd Edition) by J. THEWLIS, Pergamon Press (1978) 400 pp., U.S.$45.00. Dictionaries are curious creatures; especially any sort of scientific one, and indeed they are easy to criticise. If the item of interest is only cursorily described then the dictionary is inadequate; if it is described in detail then, like as not, the dictionary should really be called an encyclopaedia and priced as such. Thewlis has steered an intermediate course, but even so some of his explanations are a bit

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thin. This could be forgiven if references to more detailed works were included in each criterion. This is not done and detracts from the value of this reference work. As an example we look up the word aerosol and find the definition "A relatively stable suspension of solid particles or liquid droplets dispersed in a gas". A good enough definition, but how much more useful to add a reference to The Dynamics of Aerocolloidal Systems by G. M. HIDY and J. R. BROCK, Pergamon Press (1970). There are as many further examples as there are words in the dictionary. In my view a short dictionary of this type has its usefulness increased by an order of magnitude when advice on further reading is given.

Professor of Nuclear Engineering, Queen Mary College, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS

M. M. R. WILLIAMS